🪓Arena subsidy boosters are making another selfish attempt to cut services for everyday citizens
When the City announced the deal to commit $831-million in public funds to build a new arena for the billionaire Flames owners last April, Arena Committee Chair Coun. Sonya Sharp boldly proclaimed "No added taxes to taxpayers."
Now after the City's 7.8% property tax increase, the two councillors who spearheaded the one-sided deal to use public funds to subsidize the billionaire Flames owners are making a selfish attempt to force $23-million in cuts to services for everyday citizens so they can hide their arena tax.
Councillor Sonya Sharp, chair of City Council's Arena Committee, and Councillor Dan McLean spearheaded the billionaire bailout of $831-million in public funds to build a new arena for the Flames owners, which contributed to a 7.8% property tax increase. (Image sources: The Sprawl, City News)
💸 Grandstanding councillors can't be trusted
The councillors who are now calling for cuts are the same councillors who approved an $831-million arena subsidy just months prior. During the November budget deliberations these councillors shamefully made numerous (unsuccessful) attempts to cut basic services for ordinary citizens, including:
❌ Cut $8M funding to the Green Line expansion north (McLean, Wyness, Chu, Chabot)
❌ Cut $4M for the secondary suite incentive program (McLean, Wyness. Chu, Demong, Chabot)
❌ Cut $3M for transit fare cap for adults (McLean, Chu, Chabot)
❌ Cut $6M for mental health and addictions strategy (McLean, Wyness, Chu, Demong, Wong, Sharp, Chabot)
❌ Cut free transit for youth 12 and under (McLean, Chu, Demong, Sharp, Chabot)
❌ Cut funding for peace officers to ticket noisy vehicles (McLean, Wyness, Chu, Wong, Sharp, Chabot)
💸Meet the councillors who voted to maximize the profits of suburban developers on the backs of taxpayers
These five city councillors recently voted to block efforts to ensure suburban developers pay their fair share for new infrastructure in new communities. They shamelessly prioritized developers' profits over affordability for Calgarians living in existing communities.
❌ Ward 1 - Sonya Sharp
❌ Ward 2 - Jennifer Wyness
❌ Ward 4 - Sean Chu
❌ Ward 10 - Andrew Chabot
❌ Ward 13 - Dan McLean
In 2019, it was reported that the 14 new communities approved by Council in 2018 contributed to a $56.9-million shortfall across utilities, transportation and community services.
🔎It wouldn't be so hard to find $23M if there was still an extra $831M reserves
Despite the spin from these councillors, University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe has repeatedly confirmed that the arena subsidy impacts the taxpayer: “Those funds could have been used to either cushion the increase that we’re seeing or help offset some of the costs of different initiatives”.
💰Report shows Flames owners could see a $98M increase in annual revenue from new arena
The new arena stands to close the revenue gap between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.
The billionaire Flames owners never needed City Council's charity. Based on the new 2023 Forbes report, it appears that the arena subsidy has already boosted the Flames valuation by 29% to $1.1-billion and could increase the Flames owners' annual revenue by $98-million.
📣 Don't let these councillors get away with their arena tax cover up
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